At Westvale Park Primary Academy, we believe that geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. The geography curriculum at Westvale Park enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can and are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops and understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills.
We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable, throughout their time at Westvale Park Primary Academy and also to their further education and beyond.
In each learning journey teachers ensure the three key concepts of geography (place, space and scale) are planned for. By starting each of our learning journeys with an intriguing image we wish to foster an enquiry based approach to learning, in which children are taught how to make sense of the known world and beyond. We also aim to grow children’s subject vocabulary through learning the definitions of key words in each lesson which children can continuously refer back to with the use of carefully designed knowledge organisers.
During the summer term every year group focuses on our local area and geographical field work. We feel this is important in enabling all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences. For example, in EYFS, the children explore the geography of our school grounds, progressing to following and making maps of our town and surrounding areas in Key Stage 1. In Lower Key Stage 2 children discover, through first-hand experience, the importance of grid references and compass points when walking to then discovering how and why our local landscape has changed over time in Upper Key Stage 2.
At the beginning of each learning journey, children are asked to complete a pop quiz and thinking square, which includes a key concept question. Children are then asked to undertake the same exercise at the end of the unit which enables teachers and children to see the progress they have made. Teachers are also able to assess children’s depth of understanding through the children’s work on their key concept question.
The impact of this is to ensure that children at Westvale Park Primary Academy are equipped with the geographical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about geography, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.
Please click here to view our geography progression document.